Approved: 16.08.2006

Richard Zeiss


Approved: 16.08.2006

Artist Statement


Moments of Pure Materiality in Painting

Michael Fried once said 'The materials do not represent, signify, or allude to anything; they are what they are and nothing more.' My interest here is twofold: how barren of referents can material vision become? And how and where can the viewing subject be kept close to the threshold where material vision turns into phenomenal vision? Paul de Man, re-reading Kant’s Third Critique, suggests the notion of pure material vision – a kind of vision that exists before phenomenality 'occurs'; however, he comes from the text. How does this relate to painting, and can it relate at all?

“Material collisions”: the materials I use such as tarpaulin or egg tempera may ultimately cancel each other out, with their individual phenomenal character breaking down into non-relational materiality, subverting each other’s connotations, where tarpaulin is just a (polyethylene) surface with no external referents.

CV & Education


Qualifications and training

2013-2015 MPhil in Painting, Royal College of Art, London


2005-2006 MA Fine Art, Byam Shaw at Central Saint Martins, London


2000-2003 BA Fine Art, Fr. Kunstakademie Rhein, Essen & Krefeld, Germany


1997-1999 MBA, IESE Barcelona, Spain


1989-1993 MSc, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria


Selected exhibitions

2015 Surface, Materiality, Space, Hockney Gallery, London


2014 Re: SEARCH, Dyson Gallery, London


2013 Dromology, South Square Centre, Thornton


2012 Sequences, Galerie Asbæk, AAC, Copenhagen


2011 Guangdong Reel, Da Wang Culture Highland, Shenzhen


2011 10/4, Galerie Asbæk, AAC, Copenhagen


2011 Zurück zum Paradies, Werftart/Kunst im Hafen e.V., Düsseldorf


2011 The Speed of Light, Georg Kargl Fine Arts (Kargl Box), Vienna


2010 Frieze Art Fair 2010, Georg Kargl Fine Arts @ Frieze, London


2010 Art/Value/Currency (part 2), Eastern District, New York


2010 Summer Salon, The Islington Art Factory, London


2010 How beautiful ugliness is, The Red Gate Gallery, London


2009 Art/Value/Currency (part 1), The Bunker Gallery, London


2009 London International Creative Competition (LICC) Show, London


2009 ARCO 2009, Georg Kargl Fine Arts @ ARCO, Madrid


2007 Breaking the mould picking up the fragments, Front Projects, London


Competitions, prizes and awards, residencies, grants

2015 Battersea Power Station Show Award, Battersea Arts Centre, London


2012 Artist in residence, Can Xalant, Centre de Creació i Pensament Contemporani, Mataró


2011 Full grant – AIR, Da Wang Culture Highland Artist Residency, Shenzhen


2010 & 2012 Artist grant – Artist in res. 03/10 & 02/12, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson/VT


2009 LICC (London International Creative Competition) Award 2009


  2007 Sovereign European Art Prize 2006/07, Finalist, Rochelle School, London